So, because my lazy ass didn’t bother sharing any favourites at the end of April, I figured I might as well combine the last two months in a single favourites post. I have quite a bit of stuff to tell you guys about, so let’s get started!
I haven’t read all that much recently, because during April I was on holiday from university, and then I spent most of May focusing on writing essays and later recovering from that (trust me, I needed to). However, there are two books that really impressed me: The Hammer of Thor, the second book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series, and Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀. They are very different books, the former being middle-grade fantasy, a very quick and action-packed read, while Stay With Me is a slow, character-focused family drama set in Nigeria. They are both absolutely wonderful in their own ways, and I recommend you go pick up both right now immediately.
If you’re interested, I posted a full review of The Hammer of Thor, which you can read here. I will post one of Stay With Me soon as well, so watch out for that!
I watched a lot of movies in April. A friend stayed at my place for about a week, and we spent a lot of our time watching either trashy children’s movies or gay rom-coms. There is no in-between.
So, some awesome children’s movies are the entire Spy Kids franchise (the first two are absolute gold and the third one is very nostalgic for me), and Sharkboy & Lavagirl. If you love movies that don’t take themselves too seriously and you’re looking for comedy without any romance or offensive adults, I cannot recommend these highly enough.
The two gay rom-coms that we watched are The 10 Year Plan and 4th Man Out. I posted a full review of The 10 Year Plan, which you can check out here, and will at some point (soon, hopefully) post one of 4th Man Out as well. Both movies are very sweet and more on the light-hearted side, but while The 10 Year Plan is purely a rom-com and almost digustingly adorable, 4th Man Out is mostly about friendship, and it focuses a lot on coming out.
As soon as I started my Easter break, I watched a lot of shows, and I started watching even more stuff in the second half of May, after handing in my essays.
I didn’t start a lot of new shows, but mostly watched new seasons of shows I needed to catch up on. I finished the second season of How to Get Away with Murder, and caught up on the most recent episodes of Pretty Little Liars. The second half of the sixth season of Pretty Little Liars was a bit disappointing in my opinion, so I put off watching the seventh for a long time, but I finally decided to give it a go, and I’m really happy I did, because it went back to being really interesting and entertaining. The second season of How to Get Away with Murder also did a really good job, and I loved finding out about everyone’s past and discovering their secrets.
The two new shows that I started watching are Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Originals. Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows a police precinct in Brooklyn (duh), and it’s hilarious. If you love Parks & Recreation, you will love Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It’s a bit less laugh-out-loud funny, the humour being a bit more subtle, but it’s the perfect cure for a bad day. The Originals, on the other hand, is a Vampire Diaries spin-off, and I mostly decided to watch it because I wanted something dark and trashy. I haven’t seen The Vampire Diaries, so it might seem a bit odd that I’m watching The Originals, but I wanted to start with the latter simply because it has less seasons and thus seemed less intimidating. I wasn’t a huge fan of it at first (so much drama!), but I’ve slowly grown fond of the characters.
As you guys might know, I make a playlist each month with the songs I discover during that period, so this time around I have two playlists to share with you. Feel free to listen to any of the songs! These are some special favourites of mine:
- The Memories…Do Not Open album by The Chainsmokers. I know everyone is done with them and can’t stand their music anymore at this point, but I still really love them. My favourites from the album are “Break Up Every Night” and “Last Day Alive”.
- The ÷ album by Ed Sheeran. I kinda wish he would give his albums more normal titles, because that looks really weird now. But anyway, some of my favourite songs on the album are “Dive”, “How Would You Feel (Paean)”, and “Barcelona”. I like “Shape of You” a lot too, but I’ve heard it so many times that I’m a bit tired of it at this point.
- Harry Styles’ solo album!!! I don’t use multiple exclamation marks lightly, and when I use them I MEAN THEM. I love One Direction, but I’ve always thought that the guys could explore their talent and potential much better if they went solo, so I was really excited when they finally did. Harry is my personal favourite and bae, and I am so happy that his album did not disappoint. IT’S SO GOOD. I literally love every single track, but my favourites are “Kiwi”, “Woman”, and “From the Dining Table”.
- Some random songs that I also loved this month: “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow, “Boyfriend” by Marika Hackman, “Battles” by Emika, a really trashy remix of an even trashier song called “Gold” by Kiiara and Lil Wayne, and the Cottonmouth remix of an Indian dubstep song called “Indian Girl” by The Love Theme. A strange music month indeed!
I would also like to mention a really cool indie band that I discovered a while back when they performed at my university. They are called Joe Reardon & The Bedfellowes, and they make really awesome music! You can find them on Soundcloud if you want to support a small band with a lot of talent.
Once again, I want to share some amazing posts by the bloggers I follow.
- Choosing a Reviewing Style | Discussion by Bookish Wanderess
- We Need Movie/TV Adaptations Of Diverse Books (And Diverse Books I’d Love To See On Screen) by Bookishness and Tea
- Are Faerie Tale Retellings Lazy? by Songs Wrote My Story
- Discussion Time: Is Romance in YA Taking Too Much Away from Character Development? by Reading Every Night
- Intensive VS extensive reading: what’s the difference… and which is better? by Rose Read
- Are YA Contemporary Books Doomed to Become Irrelevant? by Songs Wrote My Story
- ‘Sad’ Queer Stories are Still Important by Written Word Worlds
- Book Titles: Length, Common Patterns and Names by Tea and Paperbacks
- The Joys Of Learning A Language (And How You Can Do It Too) by Hollieblog
- [LET’S CHAT] Should Book Reviews Be Subjective or Objective? by The Well-Thumbed Reader
- [Let’s Chat] Do You Talk About Your Blog In Real Life? by The Well-Thumbed Reader
You may or may not know that I write for some places here and there. Mainly I review stuff and write articles for my university magazine, Concrete, or more specifically their arts supplement, known as Venue. The articles I have written recently are “Melodies with Memories”, all about songs I associate with my childhood, “Exam stress saviours“, which is self-explanatory, and a review of Harry Styles’ new album. I also wrote a review of an event at my university for a website called Norfolk Places: the author Ali Smith was interviewed in one of our lecture theatres and introduced her newest book, and I got to review the whole evening, which was a pretty cool opportunity.
Some pretty cool things happened in May, so I thought it would be nice to talk about them a little bit!
- Bookshop crawl around Norwich. A friend and I decided to explore some of the most amazing bookshops in the city of Norwich, and I dedicated a whole blog post to that little adventure, as well as all the books I bought along the way. You can read that here.
- Volunteering with the Super Sighthound Rescue at the Vegan Fair in Norwich. I have recently started helping out at some events organised by the Super Sighthound Rescue, and it’s been a lot of fun! Their aim is to find homes for rescued sighthounds from Spain and the UK, and from what I’ve seen so far they’re doing an amazing job. Everyone is really lovely, and there’s always super adorable dogs around!
- Seeing the No Dogs, No Indians play. Holy shit guys, this was one hell of a ride. No Dogs, No Indians is an amazing play by Siddhartha Bose, and I still can’t believe I got to see it. I will have a full review up soon, because it was just too good to ignore, but in the meantime I will say that it follows three groups of people in India, one living in the 30s, one in the 70s, and one in 2017. It’s a commentary on colonialism, revolution, terrorism, family life, friendship, identity, and so much more. Really, if you get a chance to see it, it’s absolutely worth it.
- Oxfam Books & Music volunteering induction. I spontaneously decided to apply to volunteer in one of the Oxfam bookshops, and I got the position! On Sunday I went to my induction, which basically consisted of a safety briefing and walk around all parts of the shop. This week I am starting my first shift there, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m hoping that it will be an amazing experience.
Just some photos I have taken recently that I’m especially fond of!
- Photos of the area around the University of East Anglia
- Photos of Norwich
Last but not least, here are some of the beauty products I’ve been really liking lately! I went out clubbing on Saturday, and because clubbing is something I don’t do very often, I wanted to look a bit extra. I curled my hair, wore lots of make-up (at least lots for my standard), and I put on a dress, which I hadn’t done in FOUR YEARS. I realised I freaking love wearing dresses and curling my hair, so I will be doing that much more frequently in the future.
- Vintage Romance eyeshadow palette by Sleek. This is what I used for my eye make-up on Saturday, and I really love it. If you read my March favourites post, you might remember how obsessed I am with Sleek make-up in general, so I was very excited to finally have an occasion to try this palette. Sleek eyeshadow is super pigmented and, in this case, shimmery and pink-themed. I mean, the palette is called Vintage Romance, so it’s pretty obvious what direction the colours go in. Because I have blue eyes, pink, red, and orange tones look especially nice on me, so I appreciate this palette on a whole new level.
- Using a straightener as a curling wand. This isn’t a specific product, but more of a general trick. I am by no means the first person to do this, but I still thought I would share it. If you’re a bit of a beginner in the beauty world (I definitely am), you might think that curling your hair with a straightener is too complicated, but I can assure you that it’s actually quite easy, and it obviously saves a lot of money. It takes a few tries to really get it right, but after a while a straightener will work just as fine as a proper curling iron!
- Iconic Elements eyeshadow palette by Makeup Revolution. When I first bought this I wasn’t too impressed, because as eyeshadow I find that the colours are not pigmented enough. However, I spontaneously decided to fill in my eyebrows with the second darkest colour, and it worked really well. So I’m recommending this as a brow powder palette, as odd as that might sound. Because it comes with so many different shades of brown, I think it might suit a lot of people.
And to end the beauty recs, here are some pictures I took with the finished look! (Is posting selfies on a book blog weird? I don’t know where I stand on the awkward scale right now.)
Now I want to know about you guys! What did you love this month? Do you like any of the things I mentioned? Are you planning on checking them out if you haven’t yet?
‘Till next time and happy reading!